Bay Power's Josh Wheeler wins the Stedman Medal
HE HAS long been regarded as one of Bay Power's best players.
Now, Josh Wheeler has irrefutable proof he was the best-performing footballer during the 2017 QFA Wide Bay Sunshine Coast season.
The Bay Power captain romped to the Best and Fairest win, which was formally announced at an AFL Queensland award function in Brisbane on Sunday night.
Wheeler polled 20 votes, eight more than closest rival and Brothers Bulldogs player Jack Sickerdick.
Bay Power coach Michael Gay said Wheeler was a deserving winner.
Gay's praise was not limited to his on-field impact.
Wheeler kicked 36 goals to finished six majors behind golden boot leading goal kicker Brendan Dempsey (Brothers Bulldogs), but it was his unwavering voice, never-say-die attitude and composure that earned Gay's - and ultimately the best and fairest judges' - plaudits.
"He brought a lot of experience at the level we needed," Gay said.
"He was great with our younger players, as well as the experienced heads. He brought a lot of pride to the jersey, and with how you should train and play.
"Josh lifted the intensity and was pretty full-on on the field. He demands and expect everyone to play to and try their best."
Fellow Power players Matthew Schlein (10 votes) and Glenn Krohn (9 votes) finished in the top six.
Premiership-winners Maroochydore Roos was named the Alpha Sport Club of the Year.
Wheeler's win followed that of Maryborough Bears centre Jarrod Stothard, who claimed the Coulthard Medal in the QFA Wide Bay Reserves.
Stothard polled 15 votes, six more than closest rival Tyson Jater (Across The Waves, 9) and Bears teammate Dylan Alexander (8).
Maryborough's Adam Sheehan was the QFA Wide Bay reserves' leading goalkicker with 30 majors.